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Accounting methods for international land-related leakage and distant deforestation drivers
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4484-266X
2014 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 99, 21-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

International agricultural trade flows are increasingly important as distant drivers in global land-use changes, creating teleconnections between geographically separated locations of consumption and production. Land-use displacement and associated carbon emissions can undermine the effectiveness of land-use and climate policies, such as activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Nevertheless, few accounting methods exist for international emissions leakage from land-use change, due to methodological and policy challenges. In this paper we review methods to quantify international land-use displacement and teleconnections through international trade. Weaknesses and strengths of those methods are assessed as well as the conclusiveness of results. We identify limitations and potential ways forward for the quantification of land-related leakage in general, while highlighting implications for REDD-leakage accounting in particular. Results show that land-related leakage assessments are facilitated by applying a weak leakage definition, without the requirement to demonstrate causal leakage effects. Suitable quantification approaches combine method elements such as economic modeling, trade-flow analysis, biophysical accounting and life-cycle assessments. Depending on the use of monetary or physical input data the results can change considerably. All reviewed methods face limitations such as uncertainties and data gaps in emission factors

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 99, 21-28 p.
Keyword [en]
Carbon leakage; Emissions embodied in trade; Consumption- and production-based accounting
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104713DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.01.005ISI: 000332820900003OAI: diva2:698654
Swedish Research Council FormasSwedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2014-02-24 Created: 2014-02-24 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att läcka eller inte läcka? : Markanvändningsförskjutning och kolläckage från skogsbevarande åtgärder
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the question how emissions from land‐use displacement can be assessed and accounted for, using the example of carbon‐leakage accounting in the planned UNFCCC mechanism on ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD). REDD serves here as example of an international forest conservation policy that might be effective locally but could lead to displacement of deforestation to other countries. Although leakage processes within countries are initially considered, the focus of the thesis is on international displacement effects. The first part of the thesis reviews existing accounting methods for land‐use displacement from different research fields and assesses their usefulness to quantify carbon leakage from REDD. Results show that it is very difficult to assess policy‐induced (or strong) carbon leakage due to the requirement to demonstrate causal links between the policy in question and the observed land‐use changes, especially at international scale. Other accounting methods focus on demand‐driven (or weak) carbon leakage, by establishing a link between international demand and consumption patterns and land‐use changes as their  distant effects. Methods to quantify such teleconnections commonly combine land‐use accounting with tradeflow assessments to link international trade streams and consumption with environmental impacts such as land use or land‐use changes arising in the production of traded commodities. A methodological challenge is currently the quantification of emissions from land‐use change generated by distant linkages between production and consumption locations. Responding to this shortcoming, in the second part of the thesis a new method to assess these teleconnections is developed. The ‘land‐use change carbon footprint’ allows quantifying the extent to which landuse changes and associated emissions in a given country are promoted by the production of export goods, and thus are due to international demand for ‐ and consumption of ‐ forest‐risk commodities. The understanding of such distant deforestation drivers can be useful in several contexts, such as the design of conservation policies like REDD, which risk being less effective as globalized deforestation drivers pose a high risk for international leakages; or the planning of demand‐side measures that could complement supply‐side action in decreasing global deforestation levels. Demand‐side measures, such as zero‐deforestation embargos, regulations or certification schemes, could eventually contribute to decrease the risk for international land‐use displacement by addressing global consumption levels and commodity demand as one of the underlying driving forces of land‐use change and deforestation.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen undersöker hur utsläpp av växthusgaser, genererade genom en förskjutning av markanvändning, kan bedömas och redovisas. Detta exemplifieras genom analys av UNFCCC’s mekanism ”Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation ‐ REDD”. REDD betraktas här som ett exempel på en internationell skogsskyddspolicy som kan fungera effektivt på lokal nivå, men som ändå kan leda till förskjutning av avskogningen till andra länder. Den första delen av avhandlingen analyserar befintliga  redovisningsmetoder för förskjutning av markanvändning från olika forskningsområden och bedömer deras användbarhet när det gäller kvantifiering av koldioxidläckage från REDD. Resultaten visar att det är mycket svårt att bedöma policy‐genererat koldioxidläckage på grund av kravet att påvisa orsakssamband mellan policyn i fråga och de observerade förändringarna av markanvändningen. Andra redovisningsmetoder fokuserar på såkallade teleconnections, genom att upprätta en länk mellan internationell konsumtionsmönster och miljöpåverkan (t.ex. effekter på global markanvändning) som uppstår på grund av produktion av handelsvaror. Metoder för att bedöma sådant efterfrågestyrt koldioxidläckage brukar kombinera markanvändnings‐redovisning med bedömningar av handelsflöde för att knyta ihop internationella konsumtion med globala förändringar av markanvändningen. För närvarande är den metodologiska utmaningen att kvantifiera utsläppen från en förändrad markanvändning till följd av teleconnections. Ett förslag på en  metodlösning utvecklas inom den andra delen av avhandlingen. Indikatorn "land‐use change carbon footprint (LUC‐CFP) som kan kopplas med handelsflödesanalys ger möjlighet att kvantifiera i vilken utsträckning en förändrad markanvändning och tillhörande utsläpp i ett visst land främjas av produktionen av exportvaror. Därmed visas hur internationell efterfrågan och konsumtion av produkter fungerar som drivkraft bakom avskogning. Förståelsen för dessa globala drivkrafter kan vara användbar i flera sammanhang. Exempel är utformningen av bevarandepolicies som REDD, vilka riskerar att bli mindre effektiv när globaliserade drivkrafter bakom avskogning utgör en hög risk för internationellt läckage; eller planeringen av policyåtgärder från efterfrågesidan. Genom att ta itu med globala konsumtionsnivåer och efterfrågan på handelsvaror, som är en av de bakomliggande drivkrafterna för avskogning, kan man så småningom bidra till att minska risken för internationellt förskjutning av markanvändning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 62 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 608
Climate change, land‐use change and deforestation, accounting methods, consumer and producer responsibility, REDD+, Klimatförändring, markanvändning och avskogning, redovisningsmetoder, konsument‐ och producentansvaret; REDD+
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104784 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-104784 (DOI)978-91-7519-400-4 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-15, Önnesjösalen, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:33 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Henders, SabineOstwald, Madelene
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